Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Recreating a Masterpiece

Ok, so maybe not a masterpiece but the Fried Macaroni and Cheese at The Cheesecake Factory is my all time favorite appetizer. Talk about the ultimate comfort food! I go there just to order that fried cheesy goodness.

I've had some leftover risotto in my fridge a little over a month now and I've been planning to make risotto cakes by frying the leftovers. Not that I've ever done it before, but that was the suggestion I got when I asked for my fellow bloggers input. I've been waiting for a night when I would be eating alone, since the husband would not be a fan, and when I would have the time and patience to experiment.

Now I realize risotto and macaroni and cheese are not the same thing. But, you've got a starch and lots of cheese so they are pretty close. The real recreation was the sauce. When you order Fried Macaroni and Cheese at The Cheesecake Factory, it comes plated on a tomato cream sauce that perfectly complements the heaviness of the fried pasta and cheese. I knew I wanted a similar sauce with my Fried Risotto.

The sauce came together pretty effortlessly and I must say it tasted pretty darn close to the original. I actually wish I had made more! The risotto cakes were a little harder. I let the risotto defrost most of the way and patted it into cakes. I then dipped each cake into flour, then egg, then seasoned bread crumbs. Easy, right? Wrong! The cakes began to fall apart when I put them in the egg mixture. I then had to re-make the cakes to add them to the bread crumbs but then they fell apart again! So, I ended up with everything kind of mixed together, pressed back into a cake and topped with more breadcrumbs.

They still turned out very tasty, but I'm sure it wasn't supposed to be that hard. So, anyone out there who has a suggestion as to how to keep my cakes together so that inside is just risotto and not a mixture of the breading as well please enlighten me.

All in all, I really enjoyed my recreation of the masterpiece. The sauce was perfect and the cakes weren't bad either. :)

Fried Risotto with Tomato Cream Sauce
Source: Me

Leftover Risotto formed into patties
1 dish of flour
1 dish with 1 large egg, beaten
1 dish with seasoned bread crumbs
olive oil for frying
2 tbsp marinara sauce
2 tbsp Alouette Herb & Cheese Spread
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
pinch of salt

Dip each patty into the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Add oil to a skillet over medium heat and fry until golden brown. Remove to a plate and prepare sauce.

Add marinara to a pan over medium heat and warm through. Add the Alouette and stir until combined. Add parmesan and pinch of salt.

Place the sauce in the center of a plate and top with risotto cakes. You can top with extra sauce if you have any and/or parmesan cheese.


Nicole said...

I LOVE Cheesecake Factory and haven't noticed the fried Mac and cheese. I will have to look. I made fried risotto balls once. I used Giada's recipe I think.. I had a couple. Not easy but my balls came out well. I am wondering if the freezing didn't leave a little bit of water or ice particles and complicate things for you? I don't know. Also try panko instead of the bread crumbs for lighter tasting cakes.

deLa said...

i make a tomato cream sauce to go with my stuffed mushrooms and its so easy. just canned tomato paste, heavy cream, creole seasoning and a little gound red pepper. you dont get the chunks of tomato but gah is it finger lickin good